Your digital footprints and fingerprints increase with the evolution of technology. This is making us all increasingly vulnerable to data breaches, identity fraud and other Internet threats. Ignoring our anonymity can lead to a range of problems, from financial losses to cyberbullying. Our online privacy has become a critical subcategory of privacy today. No wonder that this is about the city!
Although the average Internet user may be aware of the importance, personal comfort is too often posed by privacy on the Internet. Another problem is that we often think that as individuals we are too small a goal. Finally, few seem to recognize the crucial difference between privacy and security. We hope that this part will help you to break new ground and spot the biggest privacy threats on the Internet!
The difference between online privacy and online security
Though closely related, online privacy and online security have some major differences. To understand the difference between the two, remove the word “online”. Data protection is about making information inaccessible to the public. What is personal is kept personal, including certain aspects of your life. Security is more about protection from all kinds of threats and the feeling of security. When you are safe, you are free of any dangers that might happen to you.
It is easy to deduce the differences between privacy and security measures. If you do not want strangers looking through your windows, use curtains and blinds (to protect privacy). If you do not want thieves to break in, close your doors and close the front gate (to protect safety).
On the Internet, these terms work almost as well. Online privacy is about your right and ability to own the information you generate and limit your outflow if you want to treat it in person. Online security, in turn, is about protecting your data and devices connected to the Internet from cyber threats such as phishing, identity fraud, and malware.
Social Media-related online privacy threats
Let’s take a look at the privacy risks a person may face in social media.
Girl enjoy online internet for social communication with friends without being aware of the threats of online privacy
Data loss and identity theft
Every year millions of people suffer identity theft and data leakage, leading to even more dangerous fraudulent situations. Financial organizations and other companies that deal with customers’ confidential information endeavor to protect them but reduce their impact. Despite these preventive measures, hackers still manage to get plenty of information. Who knows, maybe your private data will be next in the crosshairs?
Risks of social sharing
Social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram give users the ability to share their current location when posting pictures. This is very useful for enthusiastic posters, but also helps social media criminals collect information about the person and create complete profiles for users.
Idle or unattended accounts
Some people only create accounts on different social media platforms when their friends or colleagues are there, and then leave them unattended for a long time. Inactive social media accounts are a simple and tasty target for hackers to continue posting false posts or messages under your name. Some will even try to contact your colleagues and friends to collect their personal information.
If you handle unsecured devices, you are highly exposed to the risk of privacy violations through your social media accounts. Hackers can easily access devices that do not provide protection such as firewall, antivirus, or encryption, thereby deleting many private information. For one, smartphones are very vulnerable to accessing your social media profiles with just one app.
Conditions for service-related online privacy threats
Many Internet users would take a break before clicking on “I agree” if they knew what was in these contracts. For example, if you offer web-based services with third parties with whom the services have a contract, you have the right to collect, analyze and sell your personal information. Another problem is that people lose their right to go to court if something goes wrong, which basically negates consumer protection law.
It is not that the negligence of the users is to blame. The design of click-to-agreement contracts often causes the reader to follow a habit that has crept in through years of clicking on “accept”. The ubiquity of EULA is also a problem – for an average US citizen, reading digital contracts would take about 250 hours a year. That’s pretty exhausting.
Not only that, but it’s hardly sensible. It’s not like an average person is able to negotiate their own agreement with Google, Twitter or Facebook. So why bother? You can not modify or decline this Agreement (especially if it is a service that you need to use on a daily basis).
How to protect your privacy online
There are a number of measures to ensure that they remain private and anonymous on the internet.
Use secure passwords
A strong password is essential if you want to prevent your social media account from being hacked. Use an alphanumeric pattern in combination with some symbols to make the password safe and hard to crack. Properly running it significantly reduces the likelihood that your account will be hacked.
Avoid suspicious messages and inquiries
To prevent fraud and fraud, you should not accept friend requests or click links in messages from unknown people in social media. This is a safe and easy way to avoid many risks and dangers associated with social media privacy.
Invest in security and privacy software
Such software includes firewall, anti-virus, and VPN services. Quite conveniently, the latest protects from both social media and terms of service privacy threats. A best VPN software encrypts your data and masks your IP address.